Japan approves a record $1.2 trillion budget
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan approved its biggest ever budget on Tuesday, as an improving economy and a sales tax hike in made room for more defence spending and the first step towards achieving a balanced budget.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet rubber-stamped a plan that will see the government spend 95.88 trillion yen (S$1.2 trillion) in the year from April 2014, up from 92.61 trillion yen the previous year.
The figure is the largest in Japan's history due to changes in accounting rules and a sales tax hike, which will rise from five percent to eight on April 1.
The lion's share of the extra revenue is ear-marked for spending on snow-balling medical fees and other social welfare costs.